Before turning to the 2019 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers can replace their backup tight end with a player still on the open market.
There aren’t many tight ends still on the open market. After Jared Cook and Nick Boyle left, free agency didn’t leave many options for a big man who can catch. But with Jesse James signing with the Detroit Lions, the Steelers are in need of a tight end behind Vance McDonald.
Although there isn’t many options left amongst NFL veterans, there is still a player looking for a second-chance in the NFL. Austin Seferian-Jenkins didn’t do much in Jacksonville last season, which some can chalk up to Blake Bortles, but it’s certainly hurt his value this offseason.
In only five games, Seferian-Jenkins recorded 90 yards and a touchdown. A falloff from his 357 yards and three touchdowns in 2017, the five year veteran hasn’t shown much promise since leaving Tampa Bay in 2015.
This isn’t ideal, but leaves Pittsburgh with an low-priced option at the end of free agency. Seferian-Jenkins isn’t going to sign for much, but brings enough talent to be worth a valuable second option behind McDonald. He may not be Jesse James, but at 26-years-old he has enough left in the tank to try and revamp his career behind a breakout star in Pittsburgh.
It’s a late offseason addition for the Steelers that can solve their backup tight end situation. Unless they’re looking to land a player in the draft, Seferian-Jenkins is the last remaining option worth anything more than Xavier Grimble.
Pittsburgh isn’t looking for a future starter, they’re searching for a player to compliment McDonald. Seferian-Jenkins is the only remaining option, and despite having ten draft picks, Pittsburgh may want an option before heading into the draft. The former first-round pick is the best option available, even if it’s just to compete with a rookie this summer.